A wildlife and bird-lovers paradise awaits you at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge! With so much to do and explore, this is a must see for anyone visiting the Pottsboro area.
Birds top the wildlife attractions at the 11,320 acre Refuge with 339 species recorded since its establishment in 1946. Just 75 miles north of Dallas where the Red River etches the boundary between Oklahoma and Texas, migratory birds by the thousands take up winter quarters or refuel for long journeys elsewhere.
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and beautiful Painted Buntings hunt the summer skies for insects. Great Blue Herons, Wood Ducks, and Mallards call the Refuge home in every season. Spring brings tens of thousands of songbirds and shorebirds to Refuge forests and shorelines. Catch a glimpse of endangered least terns nesting on the Refuge during summer.
Although they take top billing for many people, birds are not the only attraction. Bottomland hardwoods along the creeks attract a variety of wildlife. Watch for white-tailed deer or raccoons with their young in the summer. Armadillos, turtles, and river otters are here, too! Listen for the howl of coyotes or call of the great-horned owl at dusk.
September 2011 brought the opening of a brand new Refuge Visitor Center. Exhibits showing off Refuge birds and wildlife, wetlands, wildflowers, and the Town of Hagerman await your curiosity. Did this area really used to be part of an inland sea? Sharks were here? And dinosaurs? Did Native American tribes use lands along the Red River for homes and survival? Find out answers to these questions and more at the new Center. Don’t forget to check out the “green tags” that show how the building was specifically designed to be “easy on the Earth” with an environmentally-friendly layout and new technology. Ask about upcoming Friends of Hagerman nature programs that are held monthly in the Visitor Center.
Ask for directions to any of the three Day Use Areas that offer picnic tables and restroom facilities. Like to fish? Bank fishing is offered year-round and boating is allowed March 15th - September 30th annually. Crappie, sand bass, striped bass and catfish are the most sought-after species. Opportunities for limited hunting are also available.
The Refuge is open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. There is no admission fee. The Visitor Center is open Monday- Friday 7:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.. On weekends, volunteers staff the Visitor Center from 9:00 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday and 1:00-5:00 pm on Sunday. The Center is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Situated on the Big Mineral Arm of Lake Texoma just southwest of Pottsboro, Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is closer than you think. To reach the Refuge from Pottsboro, travel south on Highway 289 to Refuge Road, turn right (west), and go about four miles to the Refuge Visitor Center.
The Friends of Hagerman offer activities at the Refuge, including free nature programs on the Second Saturday of each month, year-round. Program information is available at the Visitor Center and at the Friends’ website, www.friendsofhagerman.com.
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge is one of more than 550 such refuges throughout the United States managed by the Department of the Interior U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Refuge System is the only national system of lands dedicated to conserving our wildlife heritage for people today and for future generations
For more information about Hagerman National Wildlife, visit their website at http://southwest.fws.gov/refuges/texas/ hagerman/index/html
Look for wading birds, white-tailed deer, or bobcats along the four mile Wildlife Drive. Interpretive signs along the way will help you identify some of the wildlife you see. Hike on one of five hiking trails to explore Refuge forests, see what critters are feeding at backcountry ponds, or look for tracks of deer and river otter along beautiful Lake Texoma.
Both upland and wetland habitats at the Refuge are actively managed for wildlife. Farming at Hagerman provides 400 acres of wheat for wintering geese. Earthen dikes create shallow marshes for waterfowl and wading birds. These marshes are flooded each fall for ducks, then drained each spring to allow for growth of wild plants to serve as forage and breeding areas for insects and small fish. Native prairies are being restored to help protect the soil and provide food and cover for birds such as meadowlarks and dickcissels.
Fall brings cooler weather and with it comes thousands of Snow and Ross’ geese with young birds from the year at their side. Mid November through February is the best time to see geese at the Refuge. Shorebirds begin arriving in March as they head to breeding grounds farther north. April and October bring migrating American White Pelicans. Colorful songbirds such as the bright blue Indigo Bunting and red Summer Tanager build nests in Refuge trees in summer. Deer are more active in fall and spring and are often seen along creeks or in farm fields. More than 20 species of sparrows can be seen at various times of the year. Colorful wildflowers and prairie grasses provide seasonal food and shelter for wildlife.
One of the best ways to see wildlife at Hagerman Refuge is to take the Wildlife Drive. Using your vehicle as “camouflage” is the best way to view the most wildlife. But first, be sure to stop at the Visitor Center to pick up a map and other literature. Guides to common birds, wildlife, and flowers are available along with pamphlets on each of the hiking trails.
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge
6465 Refuge Road
Sherman, Texas 75092-5817
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